As the door swings to a close on another year, we are recapping the top stories of 2018 and are looking forward to 2019.
TEN : CURRENT NATIONAL TEAM PLAYERS REACH MAJOR CAP MILESTONES :
Kate Wright surpasses the 200-cap milestone and becomes the first Canadian woman to reach that threshold. Dani Hennig leaps over Steph Jameson and into second all-time on the Canadian Women’s National Team cap list with 171. Scott Tupper continues to add to his impressive cap total as he approaches 300. His 290 senior international matches are good for fourth all-time on the men’s side and teammate Mark Pearson’s 252 caps leaves him knocking on the top five currently sitting in sixth.
NINE: RECORD CANADIAN TURNOUT AT MASTERS WORLD CUP :
The process for team selection started last fall with leadership meetings, practices and trials. Four Canadian masters teams traveled to Spain in the summer to compete in the World Cups of Masters Hockey. Field Hockey Canada sent a men’s 50+ squad, two women’s squads (50+, 55+) and a men’s grandmasters team (60+). This was the largest turnout by Canada at the masters level and all teams represented Canada well on the international stage.
EIGHT: CANADIAN HOCKEY LEGENDS INDUCTED INTO THE FIELD HOCKEY CANADA HALL OF FAME :
Louis Mendonca, Margaret Lanning and Kathy Broderick were inducted this fall into the builder category of the Field Hockey Canada Hall of Fame. Sheila Forshaw, an elite striker for the Canadian Women’s National Team in their Golden Era was inducted into the athlete category this year. All four members of the 2018 inductee class have impacted the sport tremendously throughout their careers. They were celebrated at Hart House in Toronto on November 18, 2018.
SEVEN: MARGAUX BRAND TURNS A HOBBY-CAREER INTO A PASSION; UMPIRING AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL :
Margaux Brand attended the 2018 Youth Olympic Games as the only Canadian member of the officiating/umpiring staff. Brand got her start officiating in West Vancouver and followed the pathway and is now a internationally recognized umpire. She thanks her mentors and family for her swift rise in the ranks of Canadian officials.
SIX: COMMONWEALTH GAMES A FAMILY AFFAIR :
When the Canadian men’s and women’s teams took to the fields in Gold Coast, Australia in the spring, there were four sets of siblings representing their country: The Panesars, the Woodcrofts, the Smythes and the Johnstons. For all, the opportunity to represent Canada in international sport is special, but for some, representing their country along side their sibling adds an even more special feeling.
FIVE: A PROFESSION OF PASSION: COACHING AT THE ELITE LEVEL :
Jenn Beagan made a dramatic career switch in 2015 when she traded her tape measure and tracing paper for a clipboard and a whistle when she quit her job as an architect and became a full-time field hockey coach. Since then, Beagan has completed her entire NCCP portfolio and is finishing an advanced diploma in coaching.
FOUR: SIX-DIVISION NATIONALS A SUCCESS IN TORONTO :
Six divisions over 12 days at two world-class pitches in Toronto, ON: The 2018 National Championships was competitive, fun and rewarding for athletes, coaches, officials and staff alike. With hundreds of athletes and coaches representing five provinces, the 2018 nationals set a truly elite standard of hockey competition to follow.
THREE: CANADA COMPETES AT THE 2018 YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES :
In the Spring, Canada finished top 3 at the Youth Pan American Games in Mexico earning themselves a bid into October’s Youth Olympic Games. Although their result at the Youth Olympics wasn’t what they hoped, the tournament, the venue and the overall experience was amazing for the players and support staff.
TWO: CANADA ADVANCE TO KNOCKOUT STAGES OF MEN’S HOCKEY WORLD CUP :
After a tight 2-1 match with Belgium and a draw against South Africa, the Canadian Men’s National Team held on and advanced to the knockout stages of the world cup. The Red Caribou would wind up finishing 11th place at the tournament holding their world seed in the process. Canada earned their spot at the 2018 World Cup with their 2017 upset over India at World League Semifinals.
ONE: CANADIAN WOMEN PLACE A RECORD-5TH AT THE 2018 COMMONWEALTH GAMES :
Newly appointed Head Coach Giles Bonnet, led the Women’s National Team onto the Commonwealth Games field with a mission: to get results in every single game. With only one loss at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the Canadian women became the highest finishing Canadian hockey team in the history of the competition; a result that bodes well heading into 2019’s Olympic qualification cycle.